Facing Allegations of Fraud and Churning, Frederick Houck Suspended for Unauthorized Use of Discretion

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FINRA suspended former Freedom Investment Corp. broker Frederick David Houck for improperly exercising discretion to effect nearly 500 transactions without firm authorization or permission and for incorrectly certifying to Freedom Investment Corp that he would not exercise any discretionary power in customer accounts. Meanwhile, a customer dispute filed against Houck and alleging excessive trading/churning remains pending.

AWC #2016049678601

The report states that over a four-year period, Houck (CRD #4673586) exercised discretion in executing 491 transactions in customer accounts at Freedom Investment Corp without obtaining prior written authorizations from his customers to do so, and without receiving firm approval to use discretionary trading in the accounts.

Investigators also found that while his misconduct was taking place, Houck signed and submitted an acknowledgement of the firm's Standards of Conduct, which included a provision that attested Houck would not exercise any discretionary power in transacting customer accounts.

Houck's BrokerCheck report indicates a pending customer dispute filed in 2016 that alleges fraud in the form of churning, negligence, excessive trading, and breach of fiduciary duty. The complaint, which seeks $150,000 in damages, refers to a relevant period corresponding to the aforementioned four-year window during which Houck allegedly engaged in the unauthorized discretionary trading activity.

Despite FINRA's finding that Houck engaged in unauthorized discretionary trading, Houck and/or Freedom denies all allegations.

Prior to his association with Freedom Investors Corp in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Houck was affiliated with Gunnallen Financial, Inc. in Spokane, Washington. His BrokerCheck lists an additional outside business activity as owner of "Strategic Finance Partners," based in Spokane, WA.

If you have invested with former Freedom Investment Corp broker Frederick David Houck or with any representative or financial adviser whose unauthorized use of discretion, churning, excessive trading, or other fraudulent activity in your accounts has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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